Saturday, November 12, 2016

Backyard Playground

Remember how I said a month ago, when I showed you are finished patio, that I couldn’t wait until to get stuff for the kids to play on?
Well…I really meant that. 

The idea got in my head and I just couldn’t shake it.

Our kids haven’t had a real yard for, pretty much this whole year-ish --- with all the construction. And they’ve never had much to play on out there.
I wanted to talk myself into waiting until spring, with the reasoning that the weather was going to turn and it won’t get used. 
But…then I started to thinking about how when I was in school we had recess every day even in winter (unless it was SUPER bad.) And I decided they needed outdoor time all year, and they needed some stuff out there for them to play on. 
I got really super fixated on it once the whole thought of recess popped into my head, because we are homeschooling, and I want them to have that concept of set outdoor times either way.
Once that got in my head I was a women on a mission.

I had a couple moments where I thought we were going to get a wooden playset.
 A few circumstances, and a Lydia-sized brainstorming and researching session (which lasted at least a week) later and we had decided to buy a jungle gym climbing dome, build our own swings, and then add on next year some sort of raised fort/tree house with a slide and whatever else I can dream up and approve. (Pinterest thought gathering here.)
Blake and I were both super excited to do this.

Flash back to a month ago:

A little time and grass seed later and

 (I actually took that photo a little over a week ago now and the grass looks even better now.)
Truly, I haven’t once looked out the window and not marveled at having grass back there, behind a beautiful patio.

I’m not sure when I’m going to stop being wowed every time I look out this window.

Flash back to a month ago:

About a week ago: (Still needed to put away ladder)

By the way -- with design thoughts -- we intent to face the top of the swing set wood with a front over the top to make it look a bit more like a pergola.

Another by the way, we already had the slide -- it was kindly passed down to us when we moved here. But it’s seeing so much more action these days with the whole play ground effect. (The girls are on the edge of too big for it, but once Bronson get’s going on it, they do too.)

Anyway let me show you a bit of the DIY end of it.

If you are interested in a climbing dome (I couldn’t believe it!! but) you can just buy one of these on Amazon. And I was pleasantly surprised at the price.
I have no pictures of us putting it together because we did it after sunset -- I kept laughing at how random it seemed and how I never really pictured adulthood being the way it really is.

As far as the swings go: 
I got these pictures of Blake digging the holes. The girls had a blast helping him.
It was dusk, so Jasmine held the flashlight for him pointing down in the hole. 
 And they both enjoyed getting their whole body into the holes.

 Then Blake built the structure out of super heavy wood, while having it laying on the ground.
And then...
Well…with a toddler around…trying to do anything outside without said toddler getting into toddler trouble while he is awake is impossible…. 
So once again we decided to do construction at night in the dark.
Trying to lift that beast with just the two of us, was seriously about an inch away from impossible.
We almost put it all off until we could get more help, but we both have a stubborn side…and even thought my stubborn side was quite literally having a panic attack while we did this, because the event was quite stressful and terrifying, somehow Blake got me through it. And SOMEHOW we got it up. I honestly thought things were going to end like SUPER badly when we were at the pivotal point between getting it up and into the holes. BUT we did it. I’m never doing anything like that again. But we did it.

Then we added a LOT of concrete down into those holes, and let it cure.
Then hung swings up that I bought from here.
(Baby Swing Seat here.)
I debated on the color -- if they had a tan/brown I would have done that one. But they didn’t.
So it was between green and red. I wound up going for red because Ruby really wanted red, and I had been leaning towards it because I feel like yards look nice with a pop of red -- it seems right in every season. (Spring is fresh and hopeful for new growth. Summer is vibrant and alive, and also like tomatoes. And autumn -- apples and leaves. Winter -- red against snow -- Christmas.) I had wanted a small pop of red somewhere and I didn’t know where -- so I thought this could be it.
I think it turned out nicely. (Although I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t wonder about the green from time to time.)

Oh and randomness -- 
I wanted to show you that my grandpa’s rose bush bloomed!

How gorgeous is that?
(There was ZERO editing done to this photo.)
I’m so thrilled that it bloomed. I was NOT expecting that this year. It’s so special.
The rose is currently floating in a clear glass bowl on my kitchen table, just the way I’d see my grandma had placed them on her kitchen table floating magically in there. Once it opened up more it lightened to a lovely pink (just the way I had remembered them.) It’s so fun getting to really take in every moment of it growing and blooming the way I have.

Anyway --

And now a kid photoshoot for your (mainly my) enjoyment:
The weather has been great for so late in the year. 
So they’ve been having a blast. It’s SO wonderful to watch.

 (If you look close you can see that Bronny is sick and currently has baby booger nose/face -- hence me not give him any real close ups for the day.
We’ve all been fighting a sinus infection for a couple weeks now -- so annoying!)
He loves to push the swings and say “wheee” it’s so cute!

So yes -- we are all very excited about how our yard is coming around. It took so long to get it prepped and worked out.
 And then all at once it just seemed to fall into place.
 It’s still surreal. But it’s awesome to have gotten here.


  1. Lydia,

    Just wanted to wish you (& your family) smiling moments & heartfilling memories!
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

    Deb (ChoklatSlutz)

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